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May 15, 2014

Welcome new members to the Fathers and Families team


On May 7, new staff members from our programs across the state gathered at the Sisters of Charity Foundation offices in Columbia for orientation.

It was a chance to welcome and get to know everyone who has joined our team in recent months.

Presentations were given by Center staff, including these two new members of the Center team:

Kiki Dean joined the Center in January 2014 as administrative assistant. Kiki is a veteran of the Air Force, where she served as a human resources manager. Before joining the Center, she worked with the South Carolina Department of Education, Office of Adult Education.  Kiki provides administrative support to the Center team and Fatherhood Program staffs. Reach her at



Brad Warthen is helping us with communications. Brad is the director of communications and public relations at ADCO, a full-service advertising and marketing firm.  Formerly, Brad was vice president and editorial page editor of The State newspaper. Brad works on contract with the Center on developing content for press releases, website and various publications; promoting the Center through social media, compiling the e-newsletter and helping to leverage and seize marketing and promotional opportunities. Reach him at


Also present were the new staffers from across the state:

A Father's Place

Robert Mason -- Outreach coordinator -- A native of Mullins, Robert formerly worked for Chesco Services as a Direct Support Provider for mentally challenged adults. He attended North Carolina State University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Communications. When he isn't working, he likes to spend time with his family, write music, and travel. Robert currently resides in Mullins. Reach him at

Sandra Gowans -- Employability trainer -- Sandra is a native of Conway. She lived in various other parts of the country before returning home to raise her four children. She is grandma to one, stepmom of two and step-grandma of five. She holds a B.A. degree in educational psychology from Coastal Carolina University, and an M. Ed. from the University of South Carolina, and is studying for a doctorate in human services, focusing on nonprofit organizations.Reach her at

Othelia Britton -- Employability trainer -- Othelia was born in New Haven, Connecticut. She now resides in Georgetown with her family. She has an associate degree in early childhood education. She has also studied business administration and human services. Reach her at


Jonathan Bennett Jr. -- Intervention Specialist I -- Jonathan, a native of St. Stephen, SC, is a certified Anger Management Specialist and a member of the National Anger Management Association.  He is a Minister of the Gospel of Christ, through Now Faith Church of Hope Ministries, located in Myrtle Beach. He also serves there as an assistant, an usher, a minister of music and in any other area of the ministry where he is needed. Jonathan has studied Health Promotion and Physical Education at Coastal Carolina University. When he isn't working, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, dining out and watching movies. He can be reached at

Cregory Adams -- Intervention Specialist I -- Creg is a native of Marion. He is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He is married and is the father of two children. He can be reached at A Father's Place by email at



Father to Father Project, Inc.
Harald Gibson -- Employability coach -- Harald was born in Monrovia, Liberia. He has an undergraduate degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge and a master's in social work from the University of Cincinnati. His work history includes having worked at the New Orleans World's Fair, and he once shook hands with First Lady Pat Nixon at the White House. He can be reached at the Father to Father Project by email at

Arthur Washington -- Outreach coordinator -- Arthur was born in Marion, and has lived in Charleston since 1997. He holds an associate degree in marketing from Trident Technical College and plans to obtain another associate degree in human services alcohol and substance abuse counseling this spring. Reach him at

Elmore Ragland -- Employment Opportunity Developer -- Elmore received his bachelor's degree in business from Voorhees College. He has been with the Father to Father Project for two and a half years. Before moving to Summerville, he worked for the Lowcountry Council of Governments in Yemassee as an on-the-job training specialist for the Workforce Investment Act program. While there, he obtained a Global Career Development Facilitator Certificate. Reach him at

Afiyaa Fickling -- Program Assistant -- Afiyaa is a native of Newark, New Jersey, who relocated with her family to Columbia in 2000 to be closer to her great-grandmother. She attended Benedict College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration-marketing. While working in retail customer service, she obtained a master's degree in human resource management. Reach her at


Lancaster Fatherhood Project

Aaron Massey -- Employment opportunity developer -- Aaron was born in Peekskill, N.Y., and graduated from high school in Lancaster, SC.  He has served in the U.S. military. He is the proud father of "four beautiful and handsome children." Has served as youth minister at Faith and Hope and Victory Christian Church.  He has counseled school dropouts at The Community Powerhouse in Lancaster, and worked with at-risk youth in schools.  He spent a couple of years as a mechanic with P&G Duracell, "but my heart was still in making a difference in someone's life." Reach him at



Will Williams -- Employment opportunity developer -- Will is originally from Bennettsville and now resides in Laurinburg, NC. He is married and the father of five. He has over 20 years of manufacturing experience, mostly in quality, logistics and supervision. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/management from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2007. His interests include sports, reading and music. His motto is "In order to lead, you must be able to follow." Reach him at

Dedra Johnson -- Program assistant -- Dedra has been employed with Man2Man for two years. She has a 2-year-old son, and is very family-oriented. She loves to travel. When she was asked what she wanted to be growing up, she would say, "A role model!" When things get tough, she often says to herself, "Nothing is impossible when God is on your side!" Reach her at


Midlands Fatherhood Coalition

Mike G. Croft -- Program specialist (Aiken office) -- Mike has lived in Barnwell his entire life. He has been married for 29 years. He and his wife have three sons (two of them twins) and two grandchildren, with two more on the way -- which makes him describe himself as "blessed and old." He worked at the Savannah River Site for 31 years before joining the Fatherhood staff. Contact him at the Aiken office of Midlands Fatherhood Coalition by email at

Darrell Payne -- Employment opportunity developer (Aiken office) -- Darrell received a bachelor's degree in communications from Claflin University, and a master's in elementary education from Grand Canyon University. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Omicron Chapter.  He has been an on-air personality at Columbia's Hip Hop and R&B Station, Hot 103.9. He is a former DSS Child Protective Services investigator in Richland County. He is the proud father of Kingston Payne, 4. Reach him at

Keith Ivey -- Employability Coach (Richland office) -- Keith is a father of four children with his wife (Latonya) of 14 years. He began his human services career in 1998 as a Child Care Counselor for at-risk youth. He first joined the Fatherhood Initiative program in 2003. He serves on the Board of Directors for Shiloh-Randolph Manor, as vice-chair for First Baptist Missionary Improvement Committee and as an empowerment counselor for at-risk youth in Sumter County. Reach him at


Upstate Fatherhood Coalition

Richard T. Donald Jr. -- Employment opportunity developer -- Richard is a native of Greenville County. He is married and the father of six children. He is the senior pastor of Open Heart Baptist Church in Greenville. He obtained his master's degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He has "a passion and desire to see people better their lives for Christ and their families." Reach him at

Jemiah D. Battle
-- Outreach specialist -- Jemiah is a certified executive coach and trainer who specializes in the fields of social, educational and emotional intelligence, leadership development, organizational engagement and retention. He has a passion for developing the next generation of leaders by helping individuals and organizations achieve their highest value. He is a Greenville native the father of children, and is currently engaged. He serves as the director of Christian education and retention coordinator at his home church, Changing Your Mind Ministries. Reach him at